Advise Needed - Lonely Hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kharmel, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Kharmel

    Kharmel Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2010
    I have had a hen in my house that broke her leg last fall. Weather has finally warmed up and I recently built a makeshift coop to get her back outside. I have tried to put her with the rest of the flock but they pecked her so much she was bloody. Now that she is alone, I was wondering if I should get a couple of chicks that I would keep inside the house until they are fully feathered, then put in with her. The only problem is that my flock free ranges during the day and these chicks would be kept in a small coup with the injured hen. The coop is 4x4 with an 8x16 run. What would be the lesser of two evils? A lone, crippled hen or keeping the new ones locked up and not able to free range like the others?

    I would just go to the feed store and get a couple. If I do, what breeds would be best? Easter Eggers or Polish? Also, I will be getting some Blue Orpington chicks in a month or so and If I do get the feed store ones, I would like to get them outside before the new ones arrive. The Blue Orpingtons would be integrated into my new flock and will be free ranging with them so I don't want to put them with the injured one.
     
  2. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    I certainly do NOT want to keep you from getting chicks.

    You might try letting the lonely gal hang out next to the others for a while so that they get used to seeing her. She just might be able to fit into the flock.

    Or else, get some more adult birds, 4 or 5, and put them all into the flock at the same time. (After quarantine of course.)
     
  3. Kharmel

    Kharmel Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2010
    Quote:I was afraid to get adult birds becaust the hen isn't normal, meaning she keeps one leg up under her tail and hops on the other leg to get around (one of her legs is facing backwards). If I put young ones in with her, maybe they wouldn't think she was so odd since she would be the adult and hopefully at the top of the pecking order.

    Also, I've tried to have her with the other birds but they relentlessly peck at her so I have to stand guard whenever she's out with them. Right now, the "coop" she's in, they can see her but not touch her.

    One more thing to add, I have a large rooster and I'm afraid that he'd injure her further while trying to mate. Keeping them separated would probably be the best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  4. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    I would get her one other hen to be with. A gentle breed like a silkie, cochin, or polish would probably be the best. If there is only one other hen, I think they would be more likely to bond. Chickens are social creatures, and they prefer to have others around even if the other is crippled. I had a crippled hen and an ostracized silkie who lived together peacefully and happily for quite a while. They have both since passed away, but that worked well for them. I think the more birds you introduce, even raised from chicks, the more likely she will become the bottom of the totem pole and be picked on. A pair of hens would likely be fine together, however. Trying to find a hen that is already very gentle or bottom of the totem pole/ostracized might be your best bet.

    Good luck! I think it's better not to keep chickens alone ever if possible.
     

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